Brian Jucha is one of the best things that has happened to Infernal Bridegroom Productions. The artistic director of New York City's Via Theater, an avant-garde company known in the Big Apple for its neo-Expressionist style, brought his original take on theater to Houston this past spring with his production of We Have Some Planes. The results were extraordinary. Of course, he'd already established a good working relationship with IBP back in 1997 with his evocative Last Rites. This year, Jucha went further out on a creative limb, venturing into the dangerous territory that was 9/11. Jucha's foray into the unutterable said much about his willingness to take big risks -- an absolute must for great directors. Equally impressive was Jucha's visual style, which alluded with biting irony to our American obsession with material goods. In the end Jucha had his actors dancing out of the theater's doors, under the streetlights of McKinney, in and out of the audience's view, as his story closed. The moment was brilliant for its beauty and for its heartbreaking implications.
Although this low-budget debut from filmmaker A.B. Harris boasts a cast that includes the cream of Houston's African-American poetry talent (Angie G., Black Snow, Tosha Terry, Black Poet), the real star of the show isn't even human. During a hot and heavy orgy scene nearly four minutes into the film, a goat shows up out of nowhere and mingles with the fornicating day players. Now that alone makes this movie worthy of your attention. But when it screened earlier this year at the second annual Houston Multicultural Independent Film Festival, many poets lashed out at the movie, about a cocky, envied poet (played by local spoken-word artist Seven) who gets murdered during a poetry contest. Local versifiers argued the picture poorly represents the local poetry scene. But it's not supposed to be a representation of Houston's poetic environment; it's just a grade-B whodunit that looks more like the silliest episode of New York Undercover ever made. Besides, how could you possibly take seriously a movie where a goat steals the show? A bit of trivia: Originally, a horse and a pig were also supposed to be in the scene, but the horse couldn't get in the elevator and the pig started freaking out. Guess the goat has been in a situation like that before.

Although this low-budget debut from filmmaker A.B. Harris boasts a cast that includes the cream of Houston's African-American poetry talent (Angie G., Black Snow, Tosha Terry, Black Poet), the real star of the show isn't even human. During a hot and heavy orgy scene nearly four minutes into the film, a goat shows up out of nowhere and mingles with the fornicating day players. Now that alone makes this movie worthy of your attention. But when it screened earlier this year at the second annual Houston Multicultural Independent Film Festival, many poets lashed out at the movie, about a cocky, envied poet (played by local spoken-word artist Seven) who gets murdered during a poetry contest. Local versifiers argued the picture poorly represents the local poetry scene. But it's not supposed to be a representation of Houston's poetic environment; it's just a grade-B whodunit that looks more like the silliest episode of New York Undercover ever made. Besides, how could you possibly take seriously a movie where a goat steals the show? A bit of trivia: Originally, a horse and a pig were also supposed to be in the scene, but the horse couldn't get in the elevator and the pig started freaking out. Guess the goat has been in a situation like that before.

Every night from four to nine, happy hour at The Tavern is on like Donkey Kong! With $4 domestic pitchers, $3 bellinis and margaritas and lots of people to make friends with, you can play pool, Ping-Pong or the ubiquitous Golden Tee. Eye-catching waitresses and cute bartenders turn out slamming drinks, finger-licking burgers and dynamite shoestring fries. Tuesday night from seven to nine, there's a trivia contest with a $50 prize. Karaoke starts at ten. There's never a cover charge, and the kitchen stays open till 2 a.m. Sunday is Steak Night. And wings are 25 cents for the Monday Night Football set.
Every night from four to nine, happy hour at The Tavern is on like Donkey Kong! With $4 domestic pitchers, $3 bellinis and margaritas and lots of people to make friends with, you can play pool, Ping-Pong or the ubiquitous Golden Tee. Eye-catching waitresses and cute bartenders turn out slamming drinks, finger-licking burgers and dynamite shoestring fries. Tuesday night from seven to nine, there's a trivia contest with a $50 prize. Karaoke starts at ten. There's never a cover charge, and the kitchen stays open till 2 a.m. Sunday is Steak Night. And wings are 25 cents for the Monday Night Football set.
"Jazz in All Its Colors" is the motto of Texas Southern University's radio voice, and they live up to those fine words. Not many stations can boast a palette quite like KTSU's rainbow of gospel, jazz (Latin and Anglo), hip-hop, blues, zydeco, R&B, oldies, soul and reggae. There are also the commentaries, profiles and historical reminiscences of Frank Torry, a walking, talking compendium of all things African-American in Houston. Props also go out to the station for allowing the still-running Kidz Jamm on the air way back in 1983, when mainstream radio outlets were insisting that rap was just a fad. KTSU knew better than those folks then, and when it comes to running a quality radio station, they still do.
"Jazz in All Its Colors" is the motto of Texas Southern University's radio voice, and they live up to those fine words. Not many stations can boast a palette quite like KTSU's rainbow of gospel, jazz (Latin and Anglo), hip-hop, blues, zydeco, R&B, oldies, soul and reggae. There are also the commentaries, profiles and historical reminiscences of Frank Torry, a walking, talking compendium of all things African-American in Houston. Props also go out to the station for allowing the still-running Kidz Jamm on the air way back in 1983, when mainstream radio outlets were insisting that rap was just a fad. KTSU knew better than those folks then, and when it comes to running a quality radio station, they still do.
For most movies, you might as well wait till they come out on videotape. Goldmember's scatological jokes are just as hilarious at home, and Harrison Ford's Russian accent in K-19 sounds equally fake on DVD. But some films merit a trip to the movie theater. Ironically, the films that are worth the discriminating viewer's time share one of two fates: The picture has been displaced from the box office for years by the time it receives notoriety, or the film gets so little press it's gone before you know it ever arrived. But the Angelika Film Center has devised a way out of this dilemma with its "Sensational Cinema" series, which aims to screen cult movies, cinematic masterpieces and overlooked gems. Since the program's inception in January, the Angelika has featured Manhattan, Annie Hall, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Shaft, Master of the Flying Guillotine, Borstal Boy, Taxi Driver and A Clockwork Orange, among dozens of other classics and niche movies. So raise a toast with your Coke and popcorn to the Angelika for returning some excellent films to the big screen for one more go.
For most movies, you might as well wait till they come out on videotape. Goldmember's scatological jokes are just as hilarious at home, and Harrison Ford's Russian accent in K-19 sounds equally fake on DVD. But some films merit a trip to the movie theater. Ironically, the films that are worth the discriminating viewer's time share one of two fates: The picture has been displaced from the box office for years by the time it receives notoriety, or the film gets so little press it's gone before you know it ever arrived. But the Angelika Film Center has devised a way out of this dilemma with its "Sensational Cinema" series, which aims to screen cult movies, cinematic masterpieces and overlooked gems. Since the program's inception in January, the Angelika has featured Manhattan, Annie Hall, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Shaft, Master of the Flying Guillotine, Borstal Boy, Taxi Driver and A Clockwork Orange, among dozens of other classics and niche movies. So raise a toast with your Coke and popcorn to the Angelika for returning some excellent films to the big screen for one more go.
Beautiful, big-skied Laramie, Wyoming, was the place where gay college student Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered. It's also the backdrop for Moises Kaufman's powerful docudrama, The Laramie Project, based on interviews with 60 townspeople who lived in the Midwestern town. This past January, at Stages Repertory Theatre, Rob Bundy directed eight of Houston's most appealing actors through the story. To the audiences' amazement, the tiny talented group rendered all 60 characters with astonishing grace. Each character was sketched in quick, lithe strokes of words and mannerisms. And each resonated with truthful poignancy or gut-punching brutality. Especially memorable is Drake Simpson's motor-mouthed bartender, and Corby Sullivan's Andrew Gomez, a saggy-pantsed punk who shared a cell with Shepard's killer. Rutherford Cravens was unforgettable as the plain-spoken taxi driver who said, "Never fuck with a Wyoming queer." Kelli Cousins, Kara Greenberg, Daniel Magill, Ann C. James and Connie Cooper also worked with precision timing and moving generosity. This group of eight brought a whole town to life, giving each character the plain dignity and tender mercy that everyone deserves.

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